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Bartholin’s Cyst – Symptoms, Causes and other risk factors

Bartholin’s glands are located on the both sides of vaginal opening. They secrete fluid which is helping to lubricate the vagina. In some cases these glands are becoming obstructed which is causing to fluids to back up in the gland. This is resulting with pain known as Bartholin’s cyst. If the fluid in the cyst becomes infected, then this will develop in a collection of pus which is surrounded by the inflamed tissue. Treatment of this disease can vary. It depends on the size of cyst, where the cyst is infected and how painful is this cyst. In some cases you just need to use home remedies to cure it. In other cases this disease must be treated with surgery. If there is an infection, then antibiotics can help in the treatment. You should have protected sex. This can make you safer from sexual transmitted diseases. Also you should maintain your hygiene properly. This can help you to prevent the infections.

Symptoms of Bartholin’s cyst

If your Bartholin’s cyst is small and non-infected, the chances to see this cyst are very small. When this cyst is becoming larger in size, then you can feel mass or lump near your vaginal opening. In the most cases the Bartholin’s cyst is painless, but in other cases it can be tender. [1] It depends on the days when your cyst can become infected. When your cyst becomes infected, then you can feel the next symptoms [2]:

  • Fever
  • Discomfort while sitting or walking
  • Pain during intercourse
  • A tender, painful lump near the vaginal opening

When to see a doctor? If you are having painful limp near the opening of your vagina, then you should visit your doctor. If you are treating this disease in warm water and your pain is still there, then you must visit your doctor. Also if you are older than 40 and you have a lump near your vaginal opening, then you should visit your doctor. In some rare cases this lump can be reason for cancer [3]. Before you visit your doctor, make a list with your symptoms, your medical history and the medicines/supplements/vitamins/minerals you have taken. You should tell your doctor about all medicines that you have taken. Also you should tell him or her about your signs and symptoms, about your vitamins and minerals intake and to know about your family members if they had this disease in the past. Your doctor can ask you:

  • What kind of symptoms are you having?
  • How long you have these symptoms?
  • Have you used some medicines for this disease?
  • Have you used some minerals and vitamins for this disease?
  • If you have used some medicines for how long have you taken them?
  • Have your symptoms become worse in the last period?
  • Have you experienced pain through the sexual activities?
  • Do you feel pain in your everyday activities?

bartholin cyst symptom causesYour doctor will ask you about your family history. Also it will make a pelvic exam. Your doctor will take sample of secretions of your vagina to see if this infection is sexually transmitted. Also if you are over 40, your doctor will make you biopsy. If your doctor has found a cancer, then he or she will refer you to a gynecologist which is specialized in cancers of the reproductive system. In the most cases this disease is treated with antibiotics. When this disease is in late stage, then it needs surgical removal. Your doctor will tell you all you need to know about the post-surgery period and its treatment.

Bartholin’s cyst causes

Medical experts are saying that the main cause for this disease is a backup of fluid. Fluid can accumulate when the opening of the gland becomes obstructed which in most cases is caused by injury or infection. [4] If the Bartholin’s cyst becomes infected, it can form abscess. Many kinds of bacteria can cause this disease. It can be caused by the Escherichia coli and also from the sexually transmitted bacteria (chlamydia and gonorrhea in the most cases are transmitted sexually) [5]. This disease can be more serious if is not treated properly. If this is your case, then you might need to do this treatment again and again which will make your daily activities hard to be done. You should have daily soaking in warm water. It will reduce the infection. It will make your vagina clean and you will be relieved from the discomfort of bartholin’s cyst.


[1] Lee MY, Dalpiaz A, Schwamb R, et al. Clinical pathology of Bartholin’s glands: A review of the literature. Current Urology. 2015;8(1):22–5. doi:10.1159/000365683

[2] Lilungulu A, Mpondo BCT, Mlwati A, et al. Recurrent huge left Bartholin’s gland abscess for one year in a teenager. Case Reports in Infectious Diseases. 2017.

[3] Bhalwal AB, Nick AM, dos Reis R, et al. Carcinoma of the Bartholin’s gland: A review of 33 cases. International Journal of Gynecological Cancer. 2016;26(4):785–9. doi:10.1097/IGC.0000000000000656

[4] Lowenstein L, Solt I. Surgical techniques: Bartholin’s cyst marsupialization. The Journal of Sexual Medicine. 2008;5(5):1053-6.

[5] Saeed NK, Al-Jufairi ZA. Bartholin’s Gland Abscesses Caused by Streptococcus pneumoniae in a Primigravida. Journal of Laboratory Physicians. 2013;5(2):130–2. doi:10.4103/0974-2727.119870

Dr. Emil Sarsath (aka) Vijila, a licensed naturopathic doctor (BSMS) who always ensures his patients receive compassionate, and individualized care. He has extensive experience in primary care, digestive health, mental health, nervous system disorder and more.Area of Expertise – Naturopathic Medicine, Whole Foods-based Nutrition, Siddha, Panchakarma.She is always available through [email protected]



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